Experienced HR Professional Returns to UCSC Extension to Keep Skills Current


- Karina Law

Term : May, 2014
Department : Business and Management
Program : Human Resource MGMT

Every time Karina Law earns a promotion or moves into a new position, she turns to UCSC Extension’s Human Resource Management curriculum to learn the relevant HR methods and practical applications.  Law works as a Senior Total Rewards Analyst at Symantec.

What brought you to UCSC Extension?

When I first started at UCSC Extension, my manager wanted me to get a refresher on laws related to leaves of absence.  I really liked the program. The professor really showed us how to find the resources I needed to be successful in my job.

What have you learned at UCSC Extension?

In my “Employee Relations” course, I came in thinking I knew the theories, and how to apply them, thinking the class would be a walk in the park. I was wrong. The professor taught it really well. She has so many years of experience and she was able to share the practical applications and nuances of HR. HR is never black and white; she showed us how to navigate through the gray areas.

How did course projects help you learn?

The “Benefits Management: A Comprehensive Study of Employee Benefit Programs” course is very practical. The instructor assigned a group project where we had to create benefits programs from scratch, including the design of healthcare plans, paid-time-off (PTO) programs and many others. The project got me thinking that every benefit program has its cost—how do we calculate the cost of those programs, and how do we get creative with them while balancing a budget? I learned how to budget a PTO program, which is one of the areas I manage in my current job.

What makes Extension’s HR program stand out?

What differentiates this program is how great the professors are with their networks. They are really connected and are very happy to go above and beyond to help their students. They know everybody in the field, and they are not shy about sharing their passion and knowledge.

What advice would you give to an up-and-coming HR professional?

It’s important to be analytical and rely on your intuition and common sense. Laws change every year, and it’s important to keep up. It’s also important to be empathetic.

Visit our Human Resources Management program page to learn more about Extension’s unique offerings.
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